Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easy Spanish Rice with Picante Sauce

Let me apologize that this post does not have step by step pictures, as I was in a hurry to make it.

A very easy to put together Spanish rice with Pace Picante Sauce. This  brand that is readily available in all the grocery stores in USA. Normally Spanish rice uses long grain variety, but I had only Basmati rice and that is what I used.
One can use any salsa to make this.
Spanish rice is our tomato rice's sister, I guess!
I cooked the rice on a stove top. However u can use the rice cooker as well.

I made this rice and served with cheese quesadillas, sour cream and guacamole.

Get Ready

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce ( u can use any salsa , add more if you want it a little tangy)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  •  salt to taste
  •  chilli flakes to taste ( optional)
  • Olive oil 2 table spoon.

  • In a medium sized pan, add the olive oil.
  • Add the onions and suate till translucent
  • Add the rice ( I used unwashed rice) and saute till it changes color.
  • Add the salsa, water, salt, chilli flakes to taste.
  • Let it come to a boil  and allow it to boil till most of the water is absorbed on medium to high heat, uncovered.
  • Now lower the heat, cover and cook till rice is done.
  • Fluff it with a fork, turn the heat off and enjoy

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chatpata Bhatura / Uncooked tortilla Bhatura

Poori and Bhaturae are a big hit among kids and adults. Fluffy and crispy at the same time, they are generally a crowd pleaser. I have tried to make bhatura couple of times before and it was not a successful attempt.

Recently, I had been to a friend's house for dinner and had poori's. They puffed up so well and my friend meticulously had them all rolled and stored in a box and was ready to fry. I was impressed by all the hard work she had put into, till I found out that they were actually uncooked tortillas. I am still impressed as how smart she was to do this and introduce this wonderful and easy poori or bhatura recipe to me. Thanks J!

Most of the supermarkets here in USA sell these uncooked flour and corn tortillas. They can be found near deli section on your supermarket in the refrigerated section. The most commonly available and popular brand is the " Tortilla Land" one.

I had to buy them ASAP after my dinner and could not wait ti try it at home and share the recipe with you all. I served with a simple potato masala, but you can serve with chole or any curry. If you are like me, you can eat it with sugar :).

The uncooked tortillas are big and I was willing to have a huge pan with oil. So I used a very sophisticated tool, hehe... a tiffin box rim and a katori to cut these tortillas into smaller circles. The  edges will be fried or baked my me for tortilla chips. recipe will follow soon. With a small katori, i got 3 mini poori and with a tiffin box rim , a medium sized poori/ bhatura. Play with what you have at home.

Get Ready

  • Tortilla land uncooked flour tortillas 1 packet
  • Oil to deep fry


  • Tortillas, ready to get out of the pack.

  • Cutting circles. You need any circular utensil with slightly sharp rim. Press hard on the tortilla and cut the desired shape.

  • First circle ready

  • 3 small ones with a katori.

  • The oil has to be smoking hot. Add the tortillas one at at a time, gently press to let them puff. Flip them over and cook on the other side till you get a golden brown color. You can see the tortilla puffing up!

So from this to this!
Any remaining tortillas, you can freeze them and use it with the time displayed on the packet!

So, friends, a very easy and quick recipe to impress your family and friends!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado

If you are like me, who can eat avocados with anything, then you should try this recipe.

My daughter saw me cut the avocados and said' yew, green!".

 Then I  played the roll of a sneaky chef and made my 6 year old eat avocado with out any complaints! Sh.....

There is no butter or cream and is a perfect dish for all you low carb eaters!

There is no recipe, honestly and I did not take pictures as I cooked the dish! My kids finished this and I ended eating the creamy avocado on a simple bread toast for dinner.

Get Ready ( serves 2 kids)

  • Avocado 1, pitted and remove the flesh.
  • Bunch of cilantro, washed and picked
  • salt to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled
  • 1 small green chili / optional
  • Lemon juice to tatste
  • Spaghetti or any pasta cooked aldente, ( took 3 fistful of dry spaghetti)
  •  1 tsp of olive oil
  • 4-5 grape tomatoes halved ( optional)

  • In a blender/ food processor add the avocado, chili, cilantro, garlic, salt and lemon juice. blend till creamy, set aside.
  • Cook the pasta aldente, drain and toss in some olive oil
  • Add the avocado mixture to the pasta and toss them well in a bowl
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and serve.
I added a little of store brought marinara sauce over this for my little one and she did not even know.

Other variations:

  • Use basil or spinach to grind with the avocado.
  • Add some streamed corn or any beans of your choice to the cooked pasta.

How easy is that for a week night dinner, folks?

Check out my Chilled Avocado Soup and

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dates and Nut Energy Balls / Date Choco Nut Balls

I recently saw this recipe Here and had bookmarked it. My DH has an obsession for dates and had got this huge container. He ate most of it and some of it was sitting in my pantry for a while. I used them with available nuts at home and made a healthy and delicious snack in no time.

These are perfect as breakfast balls, after school snack or as a perfect sweet treat after meals!

They will also be great for prasad after bhajans, or pot luck dinners.

Get Ready ( makes about 20 -22 small balls)

  • 1 cup pitted and chopped dates ( used about 24 dates)
  • 1 & 1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts ( I used Costco salted cashews and TJ's pistachios)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder ( I used TJ's sipping chocolate)
  • 2 Tbsp dry dessicated coconut 9 available in Indian stores)
  • 1/2 tso Nescafe instant coffee\
  • Ghee/ oil to grease your hands for rolling
  • few drops of water as needed

I decided to add the coconut at the last minute and hence missing in the initial picture.


  1. Microwave the chopped dates for 30 secs, so it becomes soft.  Add this to the blender or food processor with cocoa powder and instant coffee. Blend till the dates are made into a finely coarse paste and the coco powder and coffee powder are well incorporated. I do not have a food process or and used my preethi mixie. It will come out like this. This paste is going to bind all the other ingredients and will be able to hold its shape as a ball.

2. Add the coarsely chopped nuts and coconut, sprinkle some water if needed. grease your (clean ) hands and mix the nuts into the date mixture. Again if you have a food processor, coarsely whizz the nuts. I used my knife to chop them.

3. Apply some ghee to your hands and roll them into balls of desired size.

Other variations:

Use any available nuts.
Adding some cardamom powder will be even better!

Enjoy and let me know how it turned out!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chappathi Crumble / Roti Crumble

Vaghereli Roti, is the name for this up cycled dish with left over rotis. They are made pretty spicy, however I made them tolerable to our taste.
Here is a very quick and easy recipe with left over chapathi's. I guess this is the equivalent of idli upma to chapathis or rotis. I had only 3 rotis left over and used whatever vegetables i had in the fridge. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables.

A perfect lunch box dish or a tea time snack!

Get Ready

  • 3 left over chapathis ( cut them into small ribbons with a kitchen scissors or rip with your hand)
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots and cabbage ( use bell peppers, beans, carrot, corn, potatoes, peas)
  • 2  thai green chili slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder or red chilli powder ( or to taste)
  • a small wedge of lemon


  • In a pan, add oil. when hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle
  • Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute till onions are soft
  • Add the shredded cabbage, carrots a little salt and cook uncoverd till the veggies are partially done. You want a crunch in the vegetables, don't over cook them

Add the chopped chappathi, salt to taste, garam masala and toss them all together on medium heat.

Reduce the heat, sprinkle a little water and cook till all the spices are well incorporated for 2-3 mins

Turn the heat off, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with a wedge of lemon

I packed this for my own lunch and it tasted so good and was not dry at all!

Enjoy and have a great weekend folks!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Verum arisi Adai

Many people, especially the South Indians are aware of adai. It is a crepe made with rice and different types of lentils/ dals and served for breakfast or evening tea.

Verum arisi adai is a dish that i have seen only in the palakkad brahmin households. My mom and grandmother used to make this for evening tiffin or as a palagaram on fasting days.

It is made with just boiled rice and coconut with no other lentils. It is kind of different from aappam as there is no fermentation and not using pacha arisi/ raw rice.

The main flavor comes from the grated coconut that is added to the rice batter.

Tastes good with a ny chutney, pulishery or my favorite " Vellam" / jaggery!

Get Ready

  • 1 .5 cups Boiled rice/ Puzhungal arisi
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • salt to taste
  • water to grind
  • Curry leaves a few sprigs


  • Wash and soak the rice in water for 6-8 hrs
  • Defrost your grated coconut if using frozen one.
  • Grind the rice in a blender, adding little water at a time.
  • Add the grated coconut when the rice is partially ground adding water as needed
  • Grind the rice coconut mixture to a fine dosa like batter consistensy.
  • Add salt to taste and mix well. Do not ferment, just refrigerate the batter for later use.

To make the adai:

Heat a tawa. Add about 1/4 cup of batter and spread it a like a dosa.
 cook with oil on both sides and serve hot.


It tastes good when served piping hot!

Enjoy verum arisi adai!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Minty Carrot Rice

Here is a very easy one pot meal for a week night dinner. The fresh smell of mint will remove all your stress y after a long day at work or managing your home.

I used a pressure pan, but you can cook the initial step in a pan and then cook the rice with all the other ingredients in a rice cooker too.

Get Ready ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 large carrot  washed, peeled & grated
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water

To temper

  • 1/2 tsp ghee/ clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green cards on
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 points of star anise
  • 1 tbsp chopped cashews


  • In a small Pressure cooker or pan, add the ghee and olive oil. add the the ingredients under temper to the oil. once the the cashews turn golden, add the sliced onions and green chili.
  • Saute till the onions are translucent.

  • Add the grated carrots, peas, cumin powder, red chilli powder and toss them.
  • Add the dry rice, water, salt to taste and mix.

  • Adjust salt level, and then throw in the mint leaves.

  • Cover and cook for 1 whistle and then simmer for 3-4 mins.
  • Open the cooker once the steam is released.

  • Serve hot with raita, papad or chips!

Variations : Add garlic, cilantro instead of mint leaves and using some coconut milk plus water to cook the rice.

Any left overs, are you kidding me?